Piedmont Fayette to offer music therapy for children of cancer patients

Caroline Beson will lead music therapy program for children of cancer patients.

The Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Fayette Hospital provides free services and programs to anyone affected by cancer at any phase of his or her journey. Many of the programs offered focus on the patient, whether during treatment or recovery, but a new program will focus on children who have a family member with cancer. Inside Out is a music therapy program, led by Caroline Beson, a licensed, board certified music therapist, with a focus on providing emotional support to children ages 7-12.

“There can be a lot of uncertainty around a cancer diagnosis and Inside Out will cover one emotion at a time,” said Beson.

Each session will focus on a different emotion, such as anger, sorrow, and even joy, and could include musical improvisation, movement, and visual art, among other elements. Children do not have to have any background with musical instruments or music to participate.

“I believe that music can help facilitate connections, whether that is with other people or a personal insight into one’s own emotions,” said Beson. “It can be very powerful, and a program like this can allow children to connect with their peers when they are in a challenging situation.”

Beson played bassoon in high school and college, earning a bachelors degree in bassoon performance from the University of South Carolina. She discovered music therapy during college and earned a Bachelors music therapy equivalency from Charleston Southern University. In order to practice music therapy, Beson completed the required 1,040 hours of internship, passed a board exam, a national certification exam and received a license from the state of Georgia. She has been a full-time music therapist for The Joseph Sams School in Fayetteville since 2015 and plays guitar, piano, and hand percussion, in addition to bassoon.

There are many misconceptions about music therapy, according to Beson. Some people think it just involves playing calming or relaxing music for patients or that the act of performing is what provides the therapeutic value. Inside Out will use music experiences to create a safe container way for children to process some challenging emotions and situations. Beson is thrilled that Piedmont Fayette is offering this program to the community.

“Piedmont Fayette has a focus on providing high-quality, patient-centered care, so it makes sense to offer family-centered care as well,” Beson said. “Even though one person may be going through treatment when they receive a cancer diagnosis, the whole family can be affected and in many different ways. I’m honored to be a part of a program that can help support a child during a difficult time.”

Inside Out will be offered on Saturdays, Oct. 13 through Nov. 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information about Inside Out or any program offered at Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness, visit piedmont.org/cancerwellness.

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